Freshman First 40 — Day 36

DAY 36
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2011

2 Cor 9:12

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

I often pray that we, the Belmont faculty and staff, can steward our students to take what they’re learning in the classroom and unconditionally give it away within the campus, to Nashville, and even to broader national and even international communities – for no other reason than to be an “expression of thanks to God” and be an extension of His love, grace, and mercy. Increasingly, I am encouraged and humbled to witness many of our students committing countless hours teaching and mentoring the homeless, refugees, and other disenfranchised people in our community, simply motivated by knowing that they have been blessed and privileged with resources, knowledge, and past experiences from which others can draw guidance. They know that their service is simply a form of giving thanks.

When I entered undergraduate school in 1985, serving someone other my own self was the furthest thing from my mind. I simply viewed a college education as a stepping stone to a stronger resume, a first job, and professional opportunities with economic benefits. There were times when I would serve in a soup kitchen for the homeless, but those opportunities were usually motivated by strengthening my reputation or resume. Not until after graduate school did I experience the incomparable joy of serving simply out of thanksgiving to the Lord.

It was then, and continues to this day, that I am constantly reminded how blessed I am to have the intellectual and physical capacity to engage in service for Christ. Whether helping refugees find employment or teaching a struggling metro school student how to read, I pray that I can continue to serve “because of the surpassing grace God has given…and for His indescribable gift” (2nd Corinthians 9:15). I also pray that we, the Belmont community of students, faculty, and staff, will continue to embrace opportunities to share God’s love through service out of thanksgiving for all He has given us. To me, that’s what is special about Belmont.

DR. JOHN S. GONAS
Massey School of Business

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